Skip to main content
A Statement of Facts and of
Causes of the Arab-Jewish
Conflict in the Holy Land
THE ARAB NATIONAL LEAGUE
303 FIFTH AVENUE
NEW YORK CITY
A Statement of Facts and of
Causes of the Arab-Jewish
Conflict in the Holy Land
THE ARAB NATIONAL LEAGUE
303 FIFTH AVENUE
NEW YORK CITY
1. Introduction ..'..■ 3
2. Palestine and Its People 5
3. The Arabs of Palestine 11
4. The Jews: Their Right and Claim to Palestine 15
5. Zionism 18
6. The British in Palestine and the Balfour Promise
7. The Mandate
8. The Present Revolt in Palestine
9. Arab Claims and Demands . . .1 40
10. Whither Palestine? . .... \ .... 42
Bibliography ">--.. . 43
DURING the last two decades the attention of the world has
been directed to Palestine. Not merely for spiritual guid-
ance nor as an inspiration for world peace has public attention
been directed to that ancient land. Palestine has been heard of
as a region of strife and bloodshed. Moveover, much that has
been written and said about Palestine and its present troubles
has come to the reader from prejudiced sources. Little is known
of what has been written and said by impartial observers— men
and women without an "axe to grind" and much of the truth has
escaped the average reader. It is hard for people in the United
States and in western Europe to obtain accurate data about
recent events in the land which is sacred and holy to Christians,
jews and Moslems alike. Despite a general wish for impartial
information the public is beset by the forces of emotion and
sentiment now rampant in the world at large. And those who
insist on impartial judgments are often themselves victims of
emotion, sentiment and prejudice. It is high time that the in-
telligent and truth-seeking minority of responsible individuals
should be made acquainted with the facts about current con-
ditions in Palestine.
Those facts are not entirely available to the English-speaking
world because the press of Europe and America is largely dom-
inated by British and Zionist interests. But there is another
side to the Palestinian question. There is the Arab side. But
little of the Arab side reaches us because of European prejudice
and our general unfamiliarity with the Arabic tongue,
In depicting international matters it is unwise to misrepre-
sent the facts or evade the truthful issue. Untruths and evasions
are boomerangs. Distortions of fact and mendacious propa-
ganda affect their authors as well as their intended victims. Thus
are seeds of hatred and prejudice foolishly sown by the pur-
veyors of false ideas and twisted facts.
In preparing this pamphlet the Arab National League of
America has sincerely tried to be objective; to state the facts
impartially; to avoid controversial matters whose truth or
falsity is beyond human verification. The League is trying to
rest its appeal upon the merits of the case without resort to
common prejudice and common misinformation. Further, no
attempt is made herein to raise more issues than already exist,
nor to stress unduly past grievances and errors.
In issuing this pamphlet the League hopes that it is serving,
not only the cause of Arabs and Jews everywhere, but also the
causes of justice, democracy and world peace.
It is, in brief, the wish of the Arab National League of
America that this pamphlet will reach many open minds regard-
less of racial and religious affiliations. The League is concerned
not only with the cogent problem here presented, but also with
the largest problem of our time— the problem of securing
"Peace on earth and eood will to all men."
Palestine and Its People
PRIOR to the World War and the creation of the mandate
system, Palestine, Syria and Transjordan were, from time
immemorial, all one country known as Syria; and its inhabi-
tants were known as Syrians. Although the terms "Syrians" and
"Arabs" are used synonymously, the latter name is now applied
to the non-Jewish population of Palestine.
The area of Palestine, excluding Transjordan, is approxi-
mately 10,100 square miles (6,464,000 acres or 25,856,000 du-
nams), that is about the size of the state of New Hampshire and
not unlike it in shape.
In the census of 1931, the population of Palestine is given as
1,035,821, composed as follows:
Moslems (Arabs) 759,7 1 2
Christians (Arabs) 91,398
The balance is composed of Druses, Europeans, Americans and
Since 1931 the population has reached approximately 1,400,-
000 of which about 375,000 are Jews. This increase was brought
about partly by natural growth but, chiefly by mass immigra-
tion of Jews.
With a birth rate about twice the death rate, the present
population will double itself, without the addition of one im-
migrant, in about tw r enty-five years.
The density of the population is about 140 persons per square
mile compared with about 41 per square mile in the United
Palestine has no industrial or agricultural possibilities for
any nation to envy or covet. Generally speaking, it is a moun-
tainous plateau and less than half of its total area is arable. It
has no forests, minerals, great rivers or lakes, and its rainfall is
scanty. It can safely be said that Palestine has no worthwhile
natural resources and that at no time can it support its present
population without help from outside sources.
Yet despite its small size and meagre natural resources Pales-
tine has from the dawn of time made more history than any
other country and will, perhaps, continue to do so for a long
time to come.
Although the land has great religious and historical import-
ance yet it is not these values which explain the interests of
Western Imperialism in its "freedom." Not because of "oil
fields," or "natural resources," or "the welfare of its inhabi-
tants" are Western Imperialists concerned with ruling the land,
but because Palestine is near the Suez Canal and the road to
In regard to the land of Palestine it is generally conceded that
agriculture is the backbone of the country and the "sheet-
anchor" of most of its inhabitants.
Some facts and opinions about the agricultural possibilities of
Palestine may be gathered from the following references:
W. E. Hocking (The Spirit of World Politics, page 340) says:
"About half of the total area of Palestine is reckoned as culti-
vable. And of this half, barely more than a third, i. e., one-sixth
of the whole area, with irrigation and drainage, can be con-
sidered fairly good valley land, including both light and heavy
According to the Joint Palestine Survey conducted in 1928
(under the auspices of the Zionist Organization) there are
about four million dunams (one million acres) of such good
valley land. In 1930 the Commissioner of Lands reported
slightly over twelve million dunams (three million acres) as the
entire cultivable area throughout the country.
In 1927 the investigators who had studied agricultural colo-
nization by authority of The Joint Palestine Survey Commis-
sion found much overcrowding in the Zionist settlements. They
recommended 60 acres as the minimum lot viable for dry farm-
ing and 20 acres for irrigated land.
,. The official committee which, in 1930, reported on the eco-
nomic condition of agriculture in Palestine, concluded that to
provide a minimum living for the family of an owner-cultivator
about 19, acres are necessary; while for the family of a tenant
who must give up part of his income for rent about 30 acres
Hocking (in the above-mentioned book, page 341) states:
"But we must again consider: it is not 160,000 Jews who are
engaged in agriculture, but only some 33,000: the rest are urban.
It is one-thirtieth of the population that are holding that fifth
of the best land, and it is not enough for them— by far not
And so what will be said when the number of Jews has in-
creased from 160,000 to 375,000?. If the number of Jewish far-
mers has increased in the same ratio there must be about 75,000
Jews engaged in agriculture today. Yet the entire number of
parcels of land available for both Jews and Arabs is estimated
at between 75,000 and 100,000. ,v
1.1 | |4 ^
Palestine is primarily an agricultural country. There are a
few industries, but these are in an early stage of development
and have to depend largely on protection. Most of the manu-
facturing industries are Jewish, but even so they cannot compete
with industry in neighboring Syria and other countries. Raw
materials must be imported copiously for industry. In conse-
quence imports into Palestine exceed exports to the rest of the
world, and so the land suffers from a chronically unfavorable
In the review "Palestine and Transjordan" (June 13, 1936)
this matter of industry in Palestine is well summed up as fol-
'Considerable attention has been given for some time, in Jew-
ish industrial circles, to criticizing the Palestine-Syria Trade
agreement of 1929, by virtue of which goods produced in either
country are to be admitted into the other free of import duty.
The agreement, had been concluded with the view to facilitate
and increase trade between the two countries. This matter was
specifically envisaged in the Mandate, and while the first part
of Art. 18 prevented the Mandatory from any discrimination
against goods originating in, or destined for, any of the State
members of the League, the last part of the article allowed the
government to "conclude a special agreement with any State,
the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic
The trade statistics with Syria show the following figures:
Year Imports from Syria Exports to Syria
1928 LP 944,711 LP 358,087
The special interest taken by Jewish industrial circles in this
Trade Agreement has been due to the fact that Jewish industries
have so far been unable to command a sufficient market in Syria
and Lebanon, in spite of the many ways and means used to reach
In a recent article published in the "Palestine Review," Dr.
Alfred Marcus gives a clear summary of the trade in "industrial
goods" between the two countries, and explains that the expec-
tations of a rapid expansion of Palestinian trade in the Syrian
market have been disappointing.
There is ample proof that Palestine's industries, which are
mostly Jewish, have not been able to command markets in
Syria or other parts of the Near East; and Dr. Marcus has stated
frankly that Syrian competition is becoming a serious obstacle
to the industrial development of Palestine; also that agriculture
has to contend with the growing menace of Syrian competition.
In view of this situation, Jewish industrialists are perplexed.
They do not suggest that the whole agreement should be abol-
ished, but they propose, for instance, that Syrian manufactured
goods like cement, boots and shoes, beer and other things, should
be taxed at the general rate of customs duty.
The real facts about Jewish industry, as shown by the expert
reports, are simply amazing. According to Sir John Hope
Simpson the average number of persons employed in industries
in 1928 was only 5.1 per establishment. After reviewing the
condition of Jewish industries up to 1930 he says, "there is not
any reason to believe that Palestine offers special attractions to
large industrial concerns. The industries likely to succeed are
those that are based on local products, or, being based on im-
ported products, show special vitality." As to the existing in-
dustries, thanks are due to the high protective tariffs accorded
them by Government. The same report, says on this point, "it
is clear that the 'Nesher' Cement Factory is dependent on pro-
tection not only for its profits, but for its existence. It could
not compete with imported cement were the protective tariff
withdrawn. The withdrawal of the duty on imported oilseeds
appeared to be a necessity to the success of the 'Shemen' oil fac-
tory. The Cellars of Richon-Le-Zion and Zichron-Jacob owe
their very existence, not to economic action, but to the liberality
and interest of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The industry con-
tinues to prosper by reason of the protective duties on imported
wines and spirits . . . The rest of the population is taxed in order
that the proprietors of these industrial concerns may be in a po-
sition to pay the wages of their laborers and to make a profit for
Some idea of recent Jewish immigration into Palestine may
be gathered from the following figures; On September 1, 1922,
there were 158,000 Jews in the country. At the end of 1935
there were 375,000. This abnormal influx of Jews in 13 years
represents an increase of 237 per cent. It is known that in the
three-year period 1933-1935 nearly 180,000 Jews entered the coun-
try, of whom only 136,000 could have done so legally.
While no exact figures as to unemployment in Palestine are
available it is possible to form some idea of Arab unemployment
from the landless condition of those people. The following facts
relevant to this matter are taken from "The Palestine Arab
Cause" by T. Canaan, 1936:
"29.4 per cent of all Arab families are landless. An area of
at least 130 dunams is required to maintain a fellah family in
a decent standard of life. But in reality every Arab family has,
if the available land should be divided among the Arab families,
only 90 dunams. Not a single Arab farmer who held less than
] 20 dunams was able to live on the produce of his farm without
outside employment. (See White Paper, 1930, and the John
Hope Simpson Report, p. 64.) Moreover, it is well known that
recent Jewish settlers are expected and, indeed, obligated to
hire only Jewish labor. The Keren-Kaymeth lease contains the
"The lessee undertakes to execute all works connected
with the cultivation of the holding only with Jewish
labor. Failure to comply with this duty by the employ-
ment of non-Jewish labor shall render the lessee liable
to the payment of a compensation of ten Palestinian
pounds for each default . . . Where the lessee has contra-
vened the provisions of this article three times, the fund
may apply the right of restitution of the holding, without
paying any compensation whatever."
Since the publication of the Simpson Report (1930) no less
than 500,000 dunams of land have been sold to the Jews. Thus
Arabs increasingly find themselves without land and without
the right to work upon it, even for hire.
The Arabs of Palestine
LT ISTORY and archeology clearly demonstrate that the
* ■*- "Arabs" of Palestine are a mixed race. Many of them
can be traced to several races that occupied the country long
before the Hebrew invasion, such as the Moabites, the Jebusites,
Hittites, the Philistines, and the Canaanites. Professor Elihu
Grant, the well-known archeologist states:
"This will be seen to be an essay in understanding of an
almost forgotten folk, the native Canaanite peasantry of
Palestine, the majority population for thousands of years,
a farming people of whom about one hundred thousand
still remain Christians today, while six or seven hundred
thousands are Moslems.
"Brilliant personalities have come from this peasantry,
but I have chosen the simplest of their class, a decent
country-folk, sound in body and mind, patient and patri-
otic, the basic stock of the country."
It should also be noted that at no time did the Hebrews con-
quer or occupy all of Palestine. The Philistines were never con-
quered but remained masters of their portion of the land long
after the fall of the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of
Israel. It is the irony of history that the land of Israel should
be called Palestine after the Philistines, the arch enemies of the
Palestine was also invaded by Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, Greece,
and Rome. Under all of these occupations and at all times
there lived in some sections of Palestine other races besides the
Hebrews. Of all these races, the Hebrews alone were taken into
captivity. None of the other races were carried away from the
land, or exterminated at the hands of ruthless conquerors.
About the time of Christ and under the Romans, the Gentile
population of Palestine was very large.
Jerusalem fell to Titus in 70 A.D., and in 135 A.D. Hadrian
expelled all of the Jews from Jerusalem and forbade them to
Hebrew influence on the races of Palestine was negligible. In
fact these races exercised more influence on the Hebrews. Since
the time of Christ and after, the language spoken by the Jews of
Palestine was Aramaic and not Hebrew. The latter was used
in the synagogue and for religious ceremonies only.
Up to the Arab conquest the country remained part of the
Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and was predominantly Christian.
In August 636 A.D. the Arabs under Omar won a historic
victory at the battle of Yarmoiik and wrested the country from
the Byzantines. The Covenant of Omar guaranteed full liberty
to the "inhabitants of Aelia (Jerusalem), to all of them without
distinction, be they well disposed or ill disposed." This docu-
ment which was signed by Omar and witnessed by four of his
generals is a shining example of Arab tolerance and statesman
ship which may well be emulated by British diplomats. Fifteen
years later, a Nestorian bishop wrote: "These Arabs to whom
God has given the power nowadays, do not fight Christianity.
In fact, they protect our belief, respect our priests and holy men
and give presents to our churches and monasteries."
The benevolent rule of the Arabs continued until 1516 A.D.
when the country became part of the Turkish Empire.
The story of the Crusaders in the 11th and 12th centuries is
too well known to warrant repetition here. However, it is in-
teresting to mention that, in spite of their defeat by Saladin,
many of the Crusaders settled in the country. Marriages be-
tween them and the native population were frequent as is evi-
denced by European features not uncommon in Palestine today-
Thus, for at least the last 1300 years Palestine has been an
From the above it is evident that the Palestine Arab is not
the wandering nomad that Zionist propagandists have portrayed
to the western world. He has clung tenaciously to the land
which he has dearly loved and valiantly defended. Turkish rule
made little impression on Arab Palestine except in hindering its
progress. The Palestine Arab is heir to a rich heritage with a
tradition of chivalry, courage, culture, hospitality and tolerance.
Between the 7th and Mth centuries the Arab Empire was in its
golden era and the Arabs, who ruled an area greater than the
Roman Empire, were the custodians of learning and civilization.
Scholars, many of them Jews, flocked from all parts of the world
to Arab seats of learning, where they were cordially received,
irrespective of race or religion, as pointed out by George Dorsey.
Numerous Arabic texts were translated into European languages,
thus rendering possible the great Renaissance. The Canon of
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) was used as a textbook in medical schools
up to the 17th century. To-day Arab young men and women
are nocking to western universities, and through them the West
is paying its debt to the East by furthering the Arab renaissance.
Six or seven hundred Palestine Arab students annually attend
European and American institutions of learning, particularly
the American University of Beirut, Syria. The influence of these
students is strongly felt in the cultural, social, economic and
political life of the country. Professor Hocking, in his book
"The Spirit of World Politics" states: "In thinking of Palestinian
Arabs we must remember their notables, their scholars, their
tradesmen and their artisans with innate deftness and sense of
beauty, as well as their farmers, shepherds, nomads." Sir John
Hope Simpson says of the fellah (peasant): "He is a competent
and capable agriculturalist."
Considering his meager land resources, and the lack of modern
agricultural implements at his disposal, the Palestine Arab fellah
has fared remarkably well in comparison with American farmers
of the middle west, millions of whom are facing destitution and
have to depend on government subsidy for their bare livelihood.
Zionist leaders have frequently attempted to justify their in-
vasion of Palestine by pointing out the material improvement
in the status of the Arab. It is well to state, however, that a
great deal of this improvement is due to Arab initiative which
had been held in check by Turkish misrule, and is now assert-
ing itself. The improvement in hospital, sanitation, and educa-
tional facilities has been brought about by the British adminis-
tration aided by the American Friends, the Church Missionary
Society of England, and other European philanthropic organ-
izations. Malarial extermination was commenced by the Rocke-
feller Foundation before the War. The rise in wages of Arab
labor, as of American labor, is largely due to a world wide rise
in the cost of living. The Arab has benefitted little by Zionist
economic improvements and is denied employment in Jewish
undertakings, and membership in Jewish labor unions and
His own culture is largely sufficient for him, and efficient
in providing him with an adequate livelihood. The Arab wishes
to be left alone and free to avail himself of such external bene-
fits of western civilization as he is ready to absorb and assimilate.
In fact, the Arabs have long been in contact with western civil-
ization, culture, and science. They do not need the intervention
of others to acquaint them with much that they already know,
and they value their independence far above any alleged ma-
terial benefits, and are not willing to sell their birthright for
an economic "mess of pottage."
The Jews: Their Right and Claim
THE very name "Palestine" clearly indicates the non- Jewish
origin of its original settlers. Today the land is of-
ficially called "Filstin"— a name plainly suggestive of the Phil-
istine ethnic element. The Hebrew occupancy of the land did
not include Philistia and was never very secure because of tribal
differences among the Hebrews themselves and because of the
Babylonian conquest which followed. After the return from the
Babylonian captivity there were other further difficulties for the
Hebrews (or Jews as they were now called) owing to the thrust
of neighboring civilizations upon them. Then came the dias-
pora, a dispersion which continued for many centuries.
And so the history of the Hebrews is but a brief episode of
semi-tribal existence among more firmly established civilizations.
Never were the Hebrews long in peaceful possession of the land
of Palestine because they lacked political coherence and basic
tribal unity. The Hebrew kingdom which was established about
1095 B. C. lasted less than a hundred years and was torn by in-
ternal strife into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
The Jewish claim to Palestine rests on a religious-biblical
dogma that is not binding on those who cannot accept it by
reason of different belief. In the real world of practical, polit-
ical and ethnic values, claims are based upon long established
legal titles. Whatever sovereign claims the Hebrews had some
two thousand years ago to the land of Palestine have long since
vanished. Those claims have long since lapsed, according to
modern international concepts of national title to land. And
this is true not only of the modern Jews but of other racial
minorities who have made analogous claims to other parts of
As an example of a spurious championing of such claims one
may cite the case of David Lloyd George who once considered
the occupation of Upper Silesia by the Germans for a period of
three hundred years sufficient ground for the post-war German
F 15 1
claim to that territory. That claim was not unreasonable. Yet
it was the same Lloyd George who denied the validity of the
Arab claim to Palestine after an occupation of nearly two thou-
sand years. It was the same Lloyd George whose government
was responsible for the Balfour Declaration.
The basic inadequacy of the modern Jewish claim to Pales-
tine is well set forth by H. G. Wells, who says in his Outline of
History that the great Solomon was a petty chieftain and that
his kingdom was but "A pawn between Phoenicia and Egypt."
Wells also says, "For three centuries the life of the Hebrews was
like the life of a man who insists upon living in the middle of
a busy thoroughfare, and is consequently being run over con-
stantly by omnibuses and motor-lorries."
Again Lewis Browne, a Jewish author, states in his book
"Stranger Than Fiction" that at its zenith the Jewish Kingdom
was but "a doormouse compared to the mighty empires of Egypt
These Jewish claims have no doubt been thoughtlessly rein
forced by many Christians who have been influenced by the
Bible— a book necessarily favorable to the Jewish people.
The impertinency of the Jewish claim to modern Palestine was
well set forth by the late Morris Jastrow in his Book "Zionism
and the Future of Palestine." On page 27 of that book he says:
"It is a fact of the utmost significance that the great contribution
of the Jews to the world's spiritual treasury was made not while
the national life was flourishing, but as it was ebbing away. The
prophets with their revolutionary doctrines made their appear-
ance when the southern Kingdom was beginning to show symp-
toms of decline, and the movement reached its height after this
kingdom had disappeared and the national existence of the
southern Kingdom was threatened. The religion of the Prophets
is the swan song of ancient Hebraism, and the example of a
people flourishing without a national background had to be
furnished to the world in order to bring the new conception or
religion to fruition, which divorced religion from nationality and
made it solely the expression of the individual's aspiration for
the higher life and for communion with the source of all being.
The ancient Hebrews disappeared. It was the Jews, as we
should call the people after the Babylonian exile, who survived,
and they survived despite the fact that they never recovered
their national independence in the full sense of the word."
Speaking of this perennial Jewish claim to the land of Palest-
tine Hocking (The Spirit of World Politics, p. 375) says: "If
one seeks to accent this claim by the statement that the Jews
were 'driven out' of their homeland, the assumption is that
conquest gives no rights; and in that case the British have no
right to dispose of the land from which they have driven out the
Turks." Hocking also refers to the fact that the Jews were
never forcibly exiled except during the years 628-635 A.D. under
the emperor Heraclius. Apart from that forcible exile many
never left Palestine and those who left did so voluntarily.
ry ION ISM was originally a religious movement seeking to ac-
*-** celerate or exploit the fulfillment of the biblical promise
that some day Jehovah's people would be restored to their land
—Palestine. Among orthodox Jews to this day it is believed that
this restoration is only to be achieved through divine interven-
tion and not by the secular "mighty arm" of any terrestrial na-
tion. In any case it is unlikely that the Prophets of tne Old
Testament thought of such restoration in terms of some mun-
dane effort to be made two thousand years or so after their time.
During the latter part of the nineteenth century Europe ex-
perienced a minor wave of anti-Semitism. Under those circum-
stances there arose such Zionists as Leo Pinsker, Moses Hess,
Kalischer and Theodore Herzl. With Herzl's publication "The
Jewish State" Zionism became more than a religious issue. It
became an economic and political issue in terms of contemporary
life and events. It became an answer to anti-Semitism. Neither
Pinsker nor Herzl, who followed him, thought of Palestine as
the indispensable land of Zion. To them and to many other
Jewish leaders, before and after, the question centered upon the
location, without definite geographical position, of a homeland
that would give the Jewish people a place and sense of security,
dignity and settlement. In such a homeland they would be able
to carry out their national life and culture in their own way
and without molestation by "Gentiles."
But in Zionism there is a deep-lying motive. That motive is
a fear of assimilation by the various nationalities among whom
the Jews have lived for centuries as secluded and segregated com-
munities. Such isolation is symbolized by the "Ghetto." And
to the "Ghetto" Jews are strongly opposed. Zionism is a child
of the Ghetto and, without the Ghetto mentality, cannot live.
Zionist leaders who realize this, guard jealously the traditions,
institutions, and even superstitions that helped to maintain the
particular qualities of the Ghetto life. They consider, for ex-
ample, the preservation of Yiddish literature as essential to the
Jewish state as the revival of Hebrew. And yet Yiddish litera-
ture is as far from Hebrew life and culture, as portrayed in the
Old Testament, as the foul air of the Ghetto itself from the
brisk, exhilarating air of Palestine.
Since the Great War Zionists have agitated for Palestine on
what they term a basis of right and not of sufferance. They
have interpreted the Balfour Declaration as granting them that
In a masterly article entitled "The Realities of Zionism" pub-
lished by the Menorah Journal in Nov.-Dec, 1930, Herbert
Solow describes the various types of Zionism, and shows that
Zionist leaders have adopted a chameleon-like policy by inter-
preting Zionism to fit the occasion. In his article he says: "Even
most extreme Ahad Haamists seemed to have reconciled them-
selves to the situation, and the Zionist movement has merged
the concepts of a 'Cultural center' and the Jewish state in the
vague elastic phrase 'Jewish National Home' which each might
interpret as he pleased and all might support. This compromise,
an unstable mixture, was described by chemist Weizmann as
'Synthetic Zionism' and by him dignified as the new Ideology."
Will Zionism help to solve the Jewish problem?
The late Prof. Jastrow warned his people that far from solving
the Jewish problem, the Zionist agitation for a homeland in
Palestine will only add intensity to the hatred of the Jews by
the nationals among whom they live, who would doubt their
loyalty and invite them to go to their new homeland. The fol-
lowing is quoted from Professor Jastrow's book "Zionism and
The Future of Palestine":
"The Zionistic doctrine as part of the religion lost its 'raison
d'etre' when the Jews became citizens of the country in which
they had settled. The social instinct which impels a man to
have one country also prevents him from having more than one.
The essence of Reformed Judaism, viewed from the standpoint
of a student of history, lies precisely here, that it freed Judaism
and the Jews from the double aspect of being bound both by a
religious and a political tie."
Even if the wildest aspirations of the Zionists are realized,
Palestine will be too small to hold all the Jews, or even an ap-
preciable number of them, to affect a solution of the Jewish
problem. As in the days of the Roman Empire, the Jews were
persecuted because of their "amixia," so the Jews of today are
persecuted in Europe and disliked in other places because of
their unwillingness to play the game with the rest of the popu-
lations in the countries where they happen to be. Whether
non-assimilation of the Jews is primarily their fault or not,
Zionists welcome it as a counter-challenge to anti-Semitism. But
it is this very non-assimilation which is at the root of the "Jewish
problem" and not the lack of a homeland, as the Zionists
wrongly assume. Thus Jastrow says:
"It seems strange indeed to find the Zionists engaged in ex-
erting every nerve to take a step backward, while the whole
world seems bent on moving forward. It seems still stranger
that Zionists should grow enthusiastic over the prospect of estab-
lishing a Jewish State in a land which can only hold one-tenth
of the entire number of Jews in the world. It seems strangest
of all that they should favor a state which necessarily involves
a recognition of some bond between religion and nationality
and sets up again the older conception of a nation formed by a
single nationality, whereas the history of Palestine itself during
the past 2,000 years points unmistakably to its reorganization
according to the modern democratic view of the State, based on
a national unit formed by peoples irrespective of descent or
ethnic qualities. What is needed is a Palestinian State in which
all who agree to adhere to the principles on which the country
of their birth or adoption is to be organized shall have an equal
Far from solving the Jewish problem, Zionism creates two
problems where only one had previously existed. Not only does
it not counteract anti-Semitism in Europe and America, but it
creates a new hatred of the Jews in a Semitic land and among a
Semitic people. And this new hatred, unlike the hatred of anti-
Semitism, has some justification in the natural and legitimate
national aspiration of the Arabs which Zionism seeks to suppress
and destroy if possible. The case of Zionism as a solution of
the Jewish problem is like the case of a certain village idiot in
the interior of Syria who had the habit of hitting the first one
he met before him when somebody hit him from behind. The
Arabs had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, but they were the
ones to bear the brunt of the reprisal. And the more intense the
anti-Semitic rage grows, it seems, the more intent the Zionists
are on "taking it out on the Arabs!"
Far from solving the Jewish problem, Zionism evades it.
This interpretation is substantially that of the "Cultural Zion-
ist" represented by Dr. Magnes of the Hebrew University and
Asher Ginsberg, who assumed the pen-name of "Ahad-haam"
or One of the People. It may be added that the Arabs are not
averse to this school of Zionism which seems at present to have
been pushed into the background by the more active and ag-
gressive political and nationalist Zionists, especially the Revision-
ist followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky. The present crisis in Pal-
estine would have been prevented had Zionist leaders heeded
the warning of Chancellor Magnes:
"The Joshua method is not the way for us of entering the
Promised Land. The retention of bayonets against the
will of the majority of the population is repugnant to men
of good will, and the Eternal People should rather con-
tinue its long wait than attempt to establish a Home in
the Holy Land except on terms of understanding and
Vincent Sheean in his book "Personal History" says of Zion-
ism: "The Zionist policy was historically without significance.
It might delude two or three generations of Jews who would be
better employed in other enterprises; it might humiliate and
bewilder the Arabs of Palestine and the surrounding Arab prov-
inces; it might give rise to repeated catastrophes of the kind
I had just witnessed (in 1929). But in the end it would be
swallowed up in the larger changes through which the world
must pass if it was to emerge from chaos and submit to the rule
of reason . . . Even though the central idea of Zionism came
from something profoundly established in the Jewish heart, the
ancient nostalgia for Jerusalem, its political expression was triv-
ial. A noble emotion had here been adapted to small, shabby
uses and served no ends but those of imperialism . . . The ex-
perience in Palestine had abundantly proved: that the Zionist
policy belonged not to the forces of light but to the forces of
darkness. It kept an Arab population in subjection for the
achievement of an end unjustifiable in the logic of history, and
in its delusion and obfuscation of the Jewish genius it robbed
the general world of what might have been - what still must
be~a powerful resource. To fight anti-Semitism on its own
ground was the duty of every civilized human being, but that
duty could never be fulfilled by attempting to expropriate a
part of the Arab world. Two wrongs, in the twentieth as in
other centuries, were still two wrongs."
IS ZIONISM A FULFILLMENT OF BIBLICAL
In answering this question one must keep in mind two vary-
ing interpretations of the biblical prophecy-the Jewish and the
Taking the latter first we find that the coming of the Messiah
has already been accomplished in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of
David and the Incarnation of God, the Logos. The fulfillment
of the Old Testament prophecies, in so far as they refer to a
golden age that has not yet materialized in our troubled world,
is linked in Christian theology with the Second Coming of
Christ, the Millenial Age and the final Day of Judgment" It
has nothing to do anymore with the reestablishment of the
Chosen People in Zion-certainly not as non-believers and defiers
of the Christ that has come. In the Epistle to the Romans
(Chaps. 9-11) St. Paul makes this very clear. The true Sons of
Israel and of the Promise are no more the Jews as such, but all
those who have believed in Christ and His Gospel of grace. "For
they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they
are Abraham's seed, are they all children." (Ro. 9:6 and 7)
St. Paul makes clear that the defection and lack of faith of the
Israelites is only for a time, when they will finally believe in
him and the fullness of grace will have been attained. "For as
ye in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained
mercy by their disobedience, even so have these also been dis-
obedient, that by the mercy shown to you they also may obtain
mercy (Ro. 11:30 and 31). Any restoration of the Jews to Zion,
in any political or physical sense was very remote from St.
Paul's mind. But should such an idea have been present in his
mind, it is quite obvious that it should be as a reward for faith
in Christ, and then all the faithful would be considered on a
footing of equality, as spiritual children of Israel.
Pious Christians who support Zionism and give it their moral
and mundane blessings should remember that what the Zionists
are attempting and what they themselves conceive as the restora-
tion of Israel are two different things.
But even on the basis of the Jewish interpretation present-day
Zionism is far from a fulfillment of the Old Testament proph-
ecies. Throughout the prophecies about the restoration (Isaiah,
Zachariah, Micha, Joel, the Psalms) it is made, not only clear,
but emphatic, that this restoration is to take place through Je-
hovah's intervention, in a miraculous manner, and after the
subjugation of the Gentiles. In Isaiah we find reference to
Cyrus as the "Annointed of Jehovah" at whose hands the restora-
tion was to take place, thus putting the fulfillment of the proph-
ecy way in the past. The Maccabees' revolt was also considered
a fulfillment of such a prophecy. But nowhere in the Old Testa-
ment is there any reference to a restoration 2,000 years in the
future, through a "Christian" Power whose very name was not
known to the prophets of the Old Testament.
Furthermore, the Old Testament prophets knew nothing of
Zionists who were atheists, who mocked the very fundamentals
of Jewish religion, and who were out and out materialists that
believed not in the soul, the Messiah or life after death.
We all know that such Zionists today are the ones who are
making the greatest agitation for the possession of Palestine and
for making it "as Jewish as England is English." Vincent Shee-
han, in his "Personal History," speaks of those atheistic Zionists
to whom the whole spectacle of Jewish and Arab religious fervor
was a mockery, saying:
"Being themselves almost completely irreligious, they could
not understand the intimate, unreasoning passion with which a
Moslem regards his religion and his shrines." And from the
pages of his fascinating account of his visit to the Holy Land,
and his close observations of the riots that followed the Wailing
Wall incident, it is equally obvious that those Zionists had as little
understanding of the religious passion of their own Jewish
people, the Orthodox Jews, mostly Shephardic, who often recoil
from the modern Zionists and who consider the modern Zion-
istic interpretation of the "restoration" as an impious and arro-
The British In Palestine and
the Balfour Promise
WITH Arab aid— indispensable under the circumstances—
the British conquered Palestine from the Turks in 1917-
1918. For that conquest great honor must be accorded the late
Colonel Lawrence and King Feisal.
The country then remained under a military administration
until July 1, 1920, when a civil administration was set up.
Finally the land was mandated to Great Britain for an indefinite
But during the Great War two contradictory situations had
arisen. First there was the M'Mahon-Hussein Treaty of 1915,
according to which Great Britain made extensive promises to the
Sherif Hussein. It was explicitly understood that there should
be an Arab kingdom embracing what is now Palestine, Syria,
Iraq and Arabia. In brief there was to be a Pan-Arab kingdom
regardless of religious affiliations.
In a letter addressed on July 14th, 1915, to Sir Henry Mac-
Mahon, King Hussein, who had decided to take up arms on the
side of the Allies, asked, first, that England should acknowledge
the independence of the Arab countries bounded on the north
by Mersina and Adana up to the 27th degree of latitude, on the
east by the frontiers of Persia up to the Persian Gulf, on the
south by the Indian Ocean with the exception of Aden, and on
the west by the Red Sea andthe Mediterranean up to Mersina,
Palestine thus coming within these boundaries.
Replying to the above on October 24th, 1915, Sir Henry
MacMahon wrote: I am empowered in the name of the Gov-
ernment of Great Britain to give the following assurances:
"Great Britain is prepared to recognize and support the
independence of the Arabs within the territories included
in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sherif. Re-
garding the Vilayets of Baghdad and Basra, the Arabs will
recognize that the established position and interests of
Great Britain necessitate special measures of administra-
tion and control in order to secure these territories from
"The Arab forces have redeemed the pledges given to Great
Britain and we should redeem our pledges," said Lloyd George
to a Conference in Downing Street on September 19th, 1919, at
which King Feisal was present. Again, in his speech in the
House of Commons on June 14th, 1921, the Colonial Secretary,
reviewing the situation in the Middle East, said: "In order to
gain the support of the Arabs against the Turks we, in common
with our Allies, made during the war another series of promises
to the Arabs of the reconstitution of the Arab nation and, as
far as possible, of the restoration of Arab influence and authority
in the conquered provinces." These pledges were given in con-
sideration of the help which Arabs rendered to the Allies. Arab
forces under the Emir Feisal worked hand in hand with British
troops, and hundreds of officers and men under the Arab Prince
were Arabs of Palestine.
Furthermore, the Arabs of Palestine were not only friendly
to the British Army, but actually helped it in its arduous task.
There was also a secret agreement between Great Britain and
France, according to which France was to be re-assured as to her
interests and aspirations in Syria. This agreement was the Sykes-
Picot Treaty of May 17, 1916.
Then came the well-known Balfour Declaration of November
2, 1917. That declaration was a most unwise one because it con-
flicted with the M'Mahon-Hussein agreement and because it
made to the Jews promises impossible of fulfillment. Thus the
British government unfortunately (and perhaps unwittingly)
made a promise to the Jews incompatible with a previous agree-
ment with the Arabs. Yet the British went back on their prom-
ise to the Arabs in the most shameful manner, as pointed out by
an editorial in The Nation (New York) of September 11, 1929:
"It was the perversion of all decency, of all standards of com-
mon good faith and honesty in that struggle (World War) which
led the war-time British Cabinet, loyal to their belief that any-
thing which might help win the war was good and justifiable,
into the career of perfidy which lies behind the bloodshed in
Palestine today ... In two years the British appear to have prom-
ised Palestine, which they did not possess, successively to the
Arabs, the French and the Jews."
In regard to the Balfour Declaration it is well to quote it
here in its exact form. It reads:
THE BALFOUR DECLARATION.
November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild:
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His
Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy
with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to,
and approved by, the Cabinet :
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establish-
ment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people,
and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achieve-
ment of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing
shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or
the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to
the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
It is important to note that Balfour promised aid in the
establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people and
not the conversion of Palestine to a Jewish National Home.
The difference is obvious and intentional and not due to a mere
slip of the pen. This is clearly indicated in a passage men-
tioned by Asher Ginsberg in his preface to "At the Crossways,"
"All the details of the course of the diplomatic 'conversations'
in London leading to the Declaration have not yet been pub-
lished. But the time has come to reveal one 'secret' which will
enable the reader to understand the real meaning of the Dec-
" 'To facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a National
Home for the Jewish people'— this is the text of the promise
which the British Government has made to us. But this was
not the text which was proposed to it by the Zionist representa-
tives. They wished to have it read: 'The reconstitution of Pal-
estine as the National Home of the Jewish people.' When the
happy hour arrived for the signing and sealing of the Declaration
by the Government, it was found to contain the first text instead
of the second . . . Understanding persons realized at once the
meaning of this. Others thought there was merely a stylistic
change. They therefore tried several times thereafter, when-
ever opportunity presented in their dealings with the Govern-
ment, to transcribe the promise into the wording as though noth-
ing had been changed. But every time, they found in the Gov-
ernment answer a repetition of the text contained in the Dec-
laration, proving that here was no casual phrase, but that the
promise was really limited to this formula."
Vincent Sheean in commenting on the Balfour Declaration in
his book "Personal History" makes the following statement:
"Balfour's master hand never did better work than in the
rubbery phrases of this sentence. The Arab population of Pal-
estine, outnumbering the Jews then more than ten to one, was
referred to only as 'the existing non-Jewish population.' The
whole tone of the sentence was that of generosity to both Jew
and Arab. The Balfour Declaration seemed to promise the
Jews everything and seemed to reserve everything for the Arabs,
at one time and with one twist of the pen. I was to learn in
Palestine that it had actually given the Jews little, had reserved
little for the Arabs, and had one certain purpose only: the in-
stallation of the British as the governing power in the country. '
Now it is plain that the above declaration is meaningless un-
less the phrase "a National Home" is properly interpreted.
Surely it was not intended that great masses of Jews or other
outsiders were to be given the sudden right to make their col-
lective home in a country of only about 10,000 square miles in
area, especially when that country was already the home of a
long established population. But plainly the British govern-
ment could never have envisaged a wholesale descent of many
hundred thousand Jews from all points of the compass upon a
land which can scarcely support one million people.
The Balfour Declaration was a unilateral promise made in
contravention of an earlier agreement with another party. This
means that what was first agreed to by British and Arabs for
the major benefit of the Arabs was afterwards promised to the
Jews for their indefinite benefit. Palestine was and is more than
"tt home" to the Arabs. It is their land, and to that land they
have an inalienable right. To the Jews Palestine is "a home"
only in the sense that some of their people may live there on
such land as is not already pre-empted by the native population
already established there for many generations. The old settlers
(whether Arabs or Jews) plainly have first title to the country,
whereas hordes of newcomers of any nationality cannot come
without robbing the legitimate occupants of "home" and soil.
But ever since the establishment of the mandate Zionists have
plainly been motivated by the following desires: (1) to appro-
priate as much land as possible; (2) to increase immigration to
such a degree that the majority of the population becomes Jew-
ish; (3) to withhold all work on Jewish lands from every non-
Jew. These considerations show clearly that no benefit whatso-
ever can be derived by the Arab from Jewish colonization and
immigration. For even if the Arab learns how to improve his
own agricultural methods he must ultimately, if the Zionist pro-
gram is fulfilled, become landless and must sooner or later leave
Speaking of these Zionist desires and aims Dr. med. T. Canaan
in his pamphlet "The Palestine Arab Cause" (Jerusalem, 1936),
page 13, says:
"What did the Government do to counteract these unjust
aims? Why was the promise of the 'full protection' of the Arabs
not carried out? This promise was given in the first report of
the Civil Government of Palestine: 'The policy of H. M. Gov-
ernment contemplated the satisfaction of the legitimate aspira-
tions of the Jewish race throughout the world in relation to
Palestine, combined with a full protection of the rights of the
existing population . . . The measures to foster the well-being
of the Arab should be precisely those which we should adopt
in Palestine if there were no Zionist question and if there had
been no Balfour Declaration.' " The above paragraph is
quoted in translation from Dr. H. Kohn's work: "Nationalisms
und Imperialismus im Vorderen Orient," page 187.)
The New York Times in its issue of October 22, 1930, made
the following editorial comment:
"Great Britain's new policy in Palestine is a blow at Zionist
aspirations only in the sense that it registers a verdict already
pronounced by the facts. The claims of 'Political Zionism'
were always inadmissible. Neither justice nor the forces of na
i ionalism let loose by the war, nor Great Britain's pledges to the
Arab people would tolerate the imposition of Jewish ascendancy
by high-pressure methods upon a native population four-fifths
hostile. The Jewish Homeland promised in the Balfour Dec-
laration was limited in that document by the rights of the Arab
majority. To all but a small faction of zealots it must have been
manifest from the first that the building of the Jewish Home-
land must take the form of colonization."
The British Government and responsible Zionist organizations
have repeatedly and consistently refused to insist on a precise
definition of the Balfour Declaration. The British have failed
to do so because of their vested interests in Palestine and the
Near East, and the Zionists because of their hopes of a national
state in the Holy Land. The British Government seems not to
have realized that its nominal conquest of Palestine was basically
for Arab interests (according to its own pronouncements); while
the Zionists seem to have forgotten that the country was only to
be "a home" for a small number of orthodox Jews who had gone
there for religious reasons and had been willing, either to make
a modest living from the land or to be supported on limited
funds from their co-religionists. For it must be plain to any
reasonably informed person that no large alien population in
Palestine can possibly exist without outside subsidy.
TN 1924 the mandates of "Class A" were established for Arab
*- lands formerly under Turkish sovereignty. In this way Pal-
estine came to be mandated by Great Britain. It was generally
understood that the mandate should be temporary until such
time as the country was able to govern itself. Nothing in the
mandate gave outsiders an indefinite right to invade the land
to the detriment of the native population. It was generally
understood that Great Britain would administer Palestine in
trust for the Arabs and for such Jews as were there at that time
(1924). But the British failed to live up to the expectation.
That the Arabs objected to the administration of the Mandate
by the British has been very evident from the outset. Criticisms
of that administration have come from the Council of the League
of Nations and from various other quarters.
In public and international law the term "mandate" is rela-
tively new. The mandatory powers ^themselves have consistently
evaded clarifying the issue and so we must look elsewhere for
its true meaning. To those writers who saw the mandate as a
legal document it was not hard to speculate and give strictly
juridical meanings to its terms and provisions. But since the
World Court and other courts have had no occasion to interpret
any such terms and provisions, the matter must remain a specu-
lation for writers on history and politics.
That the mandate was intended as a political and not a legal
document can be seen from the manner of, and reasons for, its
creation. Let us look at the surrounding circumstances.
During the Great War, by secret treaties, three different com-
mitments were made regarding the ultimate disposal of Palestine.
In those days and before the Peace Conference all of the small
and oppressed nations and nationalities were imbued with great
enthusiasm for their freedom and emancipation. The Allied
Powers saw to it that the idealism conveyed by the "fourteen
points" and "self determination" should penetrate to the remot-
est corners of the earth. It may be remembered that America's
entry into the War which made victory for the Allies possible,
was "to make the world safe for democracy" and not to perpe-
trate imperialism. Woodrow Wilson's idealism had so per-
meated the social and diplomatic atmosphere of the world that
subject races began to feel that they would soon be ready to set
up their own government and determine their own destiny. But
hardly had the Peace Conference at Versailles got under way
when various secret treaties came to light. Wilson's basic doc-
trines were circumvented by the astute statesmen of Europe.
Great Britain and France were the real masters at Versailles and
it was not hard for them to dispose of the former German col-
onies. But when it came to Syria, Palestine and Iraq, which
countries with the rest of the Arab World, had fought side by
side with the Allies in order to regain their independence, the
task was a little harder. The fate of the Arabs had long been
sealed, but the unjust deal meted out to them could not publicly
appear as such. The deal handed out to them must appear
"sugar coated" and easy to take. There was to be no outright
annexation-at least for the present. Imperialism, ostensibly de-
nounced by the Allied statesmen, was now to appear in a new
and beautiful cloak. Imperialism now masqueraded under the
guise of the "mandate."
With their hopes shattered and their labor lost, the Arabs
petitioned Versailles for a final and reasonable request. They
asked that Syria and Palestine be allowed to remain, as hereto-
fore, one united country. They asked that only one mandatory
power be appointed to assist them in the "art" of self govern-
ment. For a while it appeared as if this reasonable request
would be granted. Wilson sent the Crane-King Commission to
the countries in question to conduct a plebiscite. But after a
long and exhaustive study the report of the Commission was
pigeon-holed and its recommendations completely disregarded.
The petition of the Arabs was lost in the general shuffle. The
imperialists were still in the saddle and their interests were to
come first. So, Syria went to France and Palestine to Britain.
By the Treaty of Sevres, August 10, 1920, Turkey renounced
her sovereignty over Palestine. The Treaty provided that the
country should be entrusted to a Mandatory Power which should
carry out the terms of the British Declaration, according to a
mandate approved by the League of Nations. Previously the
Supreme Council of the Allied Powers held at San Remo, April,
1920, had designated Great Britain as the Mandatory Power
over Palestine. It was not until July 24, 1922, when the council
of the League of Nations actually approved this arrangement,
and not until September, 1923, that the Mandate officially Went
Mr. M. E. Mogannam, a Palestine Arab lawyer, educated in
the United States, has rendered the following opinion regard-
ing the legality of the Mandate:
"It has been the considered opinion of the Arabs ever since,
they were bound to be placed under the British Mandate, against
their wishes and without their consent, that the Mandate was
repugnant to and inconsistent with the terms of Article 22 of
the Covenant of the League of Nations, which article lays down
in paragraph 4, that:
" 'Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish
Empire have reached a stage of development where their exist-
ence as "independent nations" can be provisionally "recognized"
subject to the rendering of administrative "advice and assist-
ance" by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand
alone. The "wishes" of these communities "must be a principal
consideration" in the selection of the Mandatory.'
"To begin with, the wishes of the Arabs in Palestine were not
a 'principal consideration in the selection of ihe Mandate,' nor
were they given any choice or say in the matter. In drafting the
Mandate the provisional independence of Palestine was com-
pletely ignored, entirely irrespective of the express provisions of
an international sanction . . .
"It may be interesting to say that Article 22 of the Covenant,
the application of which has been insistently demanded, was
not originally received with favour by the Arabs. In fact, at the
First National Arab Congress, which was held in Damascus on
the 2nd of July, 1919, and attended by accredited representatives
of all Arab territories, which formed the country commonly
known as Syria under the Ottoman regime, including Palestine,
the following resolution was taken:
" 'As the Arab people of Syria, including Palestine, are not
lower in civilization than any other of the more advanced na-
tions, or less civilized than the people of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece,
or Rumania as far as their claim to independence is concerned,
we protest against Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of
Nations whereby our country was included amongst the coun-
tries to be administered under Mandate . . .'
"That was the view which was held by the Arabs with regard
to this article.
"When, however, Syria and Palestine were placed under two
distinct Mandatory Powers, and the Arab people were faced with
a 'fait accompli,' they were denied even the application of the
principles outlined in Paragraph 4 of that article.
"But considering this point from its legal aspect, it will ap-
pear that the Palestine Mandate was actually based on Article 22
of the Covenant, and that from it, it draws its authority. This
is clear from the preamble of the Mandate itself, which reads,
' 'Whereas the Principal Allied Powers agreed, for the pur-
pose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Cov-
enant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory
selected by the said Powers, the administration of the territory
of Palestine which formerly belonged to the Turkish Em-
pire . . .'
"ft is likewise clear that the provisions of the Mandate can-
not, and should not, be repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the
provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 22, following the doctrine
that no law or ordinance enacted by any State should be repug-
nant to the terms or stipulations of the constitution of that
"Many provisions of the Mandate are indeed repugnant to, or
inconsistent with, Article 22 of the Covenant, under which Pal-
estine's existence as an independent nation was provisionally
recognized. To quote some of many examples, Article 1 of the
Mandate gives the Mandatory 'full powers of legislation and of
administration.' This power is beyond any doubt in direct
conflict with the terms of Article 22 which limits the authority
of the Mandatory to 'Administrative advice and assistance until
such time as they are able to stand alone.'
"Article 2 entitles the Mandatory to 'secure the establishment
of the Jewish National Home.' . . . This power is not only incon-
sistent with the terms of Article 22, but also with the expressed
provisions of Article 20 of the Covenant, under which members
of the League severally agreed to accept the Covenant as 'abro-
gating all obligations or undertakings inter-se which are incon-
sistent with the terms thereof.' Such 'obligations or undertak-
ings' include the Balfour Declaration which was given before
this convention, but was, nevertheless, embodied in the preamble
of the Mandate.
"Article 3 of the Mandate is also repugnant to Article 22 of
the Covenant, in that it is not a question of 'encouraging local
autonomy,' but of making provisions for the 'provisional recog-
nition of the independence of Palestine subject to the rendering
of administrative advice and assistance.' The same remarks may
equally apply to Article 12, 15, and 16, which give powers to the
Mandatory which cannot be construed to fall within the mean-
ing intended by the term 'administrative advice and assistance.'
"It is clear that taken as a whole, this instrument, in letter and
in spirit, vests powers in the Mandatory which, by law and by
virtue of the authority on which it was based, cannot be con-
ferred; and in so far as it is considered inconsistent with Articles
20 and 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, it must be
regarded as 'Ultra Vires.'
Although the provisions of the Mandate were intended to be
consistent with Article 22 of the Covenant there arc many incon-
sistencies. Moreover, certain clauses of the Mandate text are
ambiguous and mutually contradictory. Let legal experts puzzle
The following may be clearly deduced as the intent and pur-
port of the Mandate:
(a) Palestine is in a position of semi-independence as a state.
Its inhabitants are Palestinian nationals and not British.
(b) Palestine is not a British dominion or crown colony. Its
territory rightly belongs to its own inhabitants and in no way
to Great Britain. Nor should Great Britain absorb the land into
(c) It was intended that representative government should
be set up to administer the country and that the Mandatory
should be subordinate and concerned only with help and advice
to the native population.
(d) The Mandatory is a guardian and trustee for a ward and
accountable as such.
(e) The Mandate, by its very terms, is not perpetual and may
be terminated at any time.
(1) The chief concern of the Mandate should be (and is)
with the inhabitants (as wards) and not with the Mandatory
Thus, the Mandatory, in its administration of Palestine, must
be judged by its record of fulfilling, or failing to fulfill, the above
While Great Britain in Iraq and Transjordan, and France
in Syria, have from the beginning of their mandates established
a representative government in those countries, yet Great Britain
has refused to grant Palestine even a semblance of such govern-
ment. The two offers to create a legislative council, with hall
of its members to be appointed by the High Commissioner (to
whom there was reserved also the power of veto over any and all
acts of the legislative council) were little more than a sham. So
Palestine is actually being administered by autocratic rule and
dictatorship. Under that rule various penalties are being im-
posed upon the population in a manner, and to a degree, un-
worthy of even an uncivilized nation. Whole towns and villages
are fined singly and collectively for relatively trivial offences.
In accepting the responsibility of the Mandate, and in as-
suming the obligations of a guardian and a trustee, Great Brit-
ain should be held to a strict accountability. Great Britain
should have guarded the property of her ward instead of render-
ing all public concessions to alien exploiters. Nor should she
have imposed preferential duties on British goods nor have un-
duly protected recent Jewish industries. Such a tariff policy has
cost Palestine and its natives thousands of pounds sterling an-
Moreover, the British Government has failed to live up to its
obligations in failing to supply sufficient schools and sufficient
employment for natives. That government has placed ill-quali-
fied Englishmen in posts which could have been filled by better
qualified Arabs, many of whom were educated in England and
other western European countries. Further, such British em-
ployees are often paid exorbitant salaries as contrasted with the
salaries paid to minor Arab officials. Nor is this all. All such
salaries come ultimately out of the revenue and resources of
Palestine itself. Palestine pays for British officialdom—not
No! Under the British Mandate Palestine has enjoyed neither
peace nor security. That Mandate has been exercised, not for
justice to the original population, but for British imperial in-
terests, and for Zionist interests, aided and abetted by self-inter-
ested Britain. This is a sad record not without hope of correc-
tion. Perhaps the Zionists the world over are equally to blame.
Have the Zionists, themselves, come into court with clean hands?
No! The fact is that Great Britain is in Palestine, not to
protect the interests of the native population, but to protect and
perpetuate her own. In fostering Zionism Great Britain has
sown the seed of internecine strife among native Palestinians
(regardless of origin and current creed); has caused needless fric-
tion between natives and recent immigrants; and has caused her^
self a grave risk of losing her prestige as the foremost power
among imperialist nations.
Now, after nearly twenty years of British administration of
Palestine, it is high time that Britain should give an accounting
of its stewardship. However, reports from Geneva indicate that
Britain has refused to accede to the request of the Mandates
Commission and submit a report regarding the current revolt.
All previous reports to the Mandates Commission were reluc-
tantly given and were far from complete. Will the League assert,
its power or will it give another demonstration of its impotence?
Which will it be? Will the League wreck Imperialism or Impe-
rialism the League and with it the hopes of humanity?
The Present Revolt in Palestine
T)RIOR to the current revolt in Palestine (1936) there were
J- four others. The previous disturbances occurred in April
1920, May 1921, August 1929, and October 1933.
The present uprising started on April 19, 1936, when two Arab
watchmen in an orange-grove were killed by Jews in retaliation
ior the killing of two Jews by highway robbers. These trifling
incidents were but the spark that started a general conflagration.
They were the last straw that broke the camel's back. But there
were numerous grievances and predisposing causes which had
paved the way and, unless these are thoroughly understood and
adequately recognized, little hope can be entertained for ending
the present revolt and preventing future disturbances.
Zionist propagandists who have persistently failed to face the
facts in Palestine have ascribed previous disturbances to the
machinations of effendis, feudal landlords and mischievous agi-
tators. During the present revolt this "explanation" was found
inadequate and "foreign propaganda," particularly Italian pro-
paganda, was offered as an additional cause. Italian influence
is at this time particularly dangerous to British prestige in the
Mediterranean. It is believed that such influence is a convenient
scape-goat and one that will alienate the sympathy of British
public opinion toward the Arab cause.
The present revolt is definitely the revolt of a majority to de-
fend its inalienable rights against an arrogant and militant
minority— the Zionists.
The feverish haste with which Jewish immigrants have been
rushed into Palestine clearly indicates the deliberate design of
the Zionists to create a Jewish majority and secure complete po-
litical control. In fact, at the present speed, they are fast reach-
ing their goal-"the Jewish State." Nor did the repeated peace-
ful protests, delegations to London, and revolts bring more than
Commissions of Investigation, only to have their recommenda-
tions completely buried in the archives of Downing Street and
ignored by a stubborn Colonial Office which blindly persisted in
administering the country for the advantage of the Zionists and
the disadvantage of the Arabs. The best that the British Gov-
ernment ever offered were a few vague promises and these were
never fulfilled. Is it any wonder, then, that the Arab, finding
himself the victim of an aggressive Zionist policy backed by a
vigorous Imperialistic British policy and even by British bayo-
nets, should now be completely out of patience and stirred to
As in most other countries, the majority of the inhabitants oi
Palestine are plain peasant folk. Their main interest centers
around their home and family. They are hard working and
honest. The subtle policies of Downing Street and the Zionist
Organization spell ruin and futility to them. They see their
best land rapidly passing to alien hands, their brothers and
friends dispossessed from land and home, their sons and daugh-
ters out of work, Englishmen and alien Jews occupying the posi-
tions which are legitimately theirs. The grim realities of life
and the struggle for existence haunt them like a nightmare; a
gloomy future with the prospect of being forced by alien hordes
to "trek along" from the land they occupied for centuries. Who
can keep cool and moderate under such circumstances? Youth
in particular sees this picture and with his vitality, energy, and
resurgent hope, but only too aware of what faces him on coming
to manhood, should this Zionist encroachment continue. There-
fore it is youth that has assumed a dominant role in the present
revolt, motivated primarily by the instinct of self preservation.
It was oppression and tyranny that brought" on the American
and French revolutions, and it is a similar oppression that has
led to the disturbances and revolts in Palestine.
Indeed, a century and a half after the Boston Tea Party, the
British in the hills and valleys of Palestine hear voices and echoes
of Arab Youth reiterating "No taxation without representation"
and "Give me liberty or give me death."
Arab Claims and Demands
THE claim of the Arabs to their native land is based first
upon prior occupancy of Palestine. The Arabs and their
co-Semites who were there before the Great War have a title
valid for many past centuries. They feel that Palestine is their
land and not the property of hordes of immigrants. Indeed the
Arabs themselves have long been impatient with the unsettled
international status of their country. They merely ask for inde-
pendence, self-determination and the right to decide their own
destiny. They merely ask for what many small nations received
after the Peace Treaty— namely strict autonomy. Such auton-
omy, they feel, is indispensable to their national interests. For
with the Arabs it is as with other formerly subject peoples.
Either they must stand on their own feet or revert to the status
of a subject people. They propose to stand on their own ground
regardless of the Mandate; regardless of imperialism; regardless
Specifically the Arabs claim the following:
(a) That their land be returned to them, in fee simple, free of
mandates and alien intervention and intrigues.
(b) That they shall no longer be the victims of political and
(c) That they are fully competent to administer their own affairs;
to set up their own government; to stand as a sovereign state.
(d) That they do not now, nor will they in the future, oppress
non-Arabs in their country, regardless of their nationality,
racial origin or religious beliefs. Nor will they, after they
regain their autonomy, be hostile to Great Britain or any
(e) That they will take their place among the civilized com-
munity of nations and be honorable members of a truly new
These just claims and the ever increasing sources of irritation
have led the Arab to formulate the following definite, unequiv-
(1) That further immigration be stopped.
(2) That further sale of land to aliens be stopped.
(3) That a genuine representative government be permitted
and forthwith set up.
(d) That the Mandate be terminated as soon as possible.
Can anyone, properly informed about current conditions in
Palestine, doubt that these claims and demands are well within
the bounds of reason?
V\7HAT will become of Palestine, the Holy Land, focus o£
VV religious and moral culture? What will become of the
land sacred to Christians, Jews and Moslems alike? For, the
peoples professing the three great religions have such a vested,
spiritual, interest in the preservation of the land of Palestine as
"a home" for its legitimate original occupants and settlers, and
as a sanctuary to which the followers of the three great religions
may turn in pilgrimage, as John H. Finley once advocated.
Palestine is a spiritual Palladium; a hallowed place; a little
region which ought to be regarded as a strictly autonomous area
free from alien domination and the profane concerns of mun-
dane imperialism. Neither the secular power of Great Britain,
nor the nationalistic thrust of a false Zionism, nor Moslem ex-
ciusiveness should dictate the fortunes of this small and peaceful
land. Palestine is in effect a modern state, capable of autonomy
and ready to take its place among the many other sovereign states
whose independence is unquestioned.
All civilized countries have long effected a divorce between
Church and State. But for Zionism, that eminently desirable
condition would now be realized in Palestine. The next step
should be a divorce between Imperialism and State Autonomy.
Palestine is weary of its enforced religious and imperialistic
partners— partners unsolicited and uninvited.
As for the Jews, perhaps it is not too much to expect that the
conscience of World Jewry will disavow the injustice and cruel-
ties incidental to the persistence of political and chauvinistic
As for Great Britain, perhaps it is not too much to hope that
she has not sold her reputation for justice to the highest bidder.
Will she submit much longer to Zionist pressure and remain a
victim of her own imperialistic habits?
Is it too much to hope that Great Britain will give up the
Mandate? With a free and independent Palestine, British anc!
Arabs will again become friends and allies in the cause of peace.
Once more let there be heard: "Peace on Earth, Good Will to
Men" in the land where the Prince of Peace, Himself, was born.
Andrew, Mrs. Fannie Fern (Phillips). The Holy Land under
mandate. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin com-
pany, 1931. 2 v., fronts., plates, ports., fold, map (in
pocket), diagr. Bibliography: p. 401-422. DS126.A6.
Annals, The, of the American Academy of Political and Social
Science, November 1932. Palestine: A Decade of Develop-
Blake, George Stanfield. Geology and water resources of
Palestine. Jerusalem: [Azriel printing works] 1928. 51 p.,
inch tables, maps. (Palestine. Geological adviser. [Publica-
tion no. 1.].) QE318.B6.
. The mineral resources of Palestine and Transjordan.
Jerusalem: Azriel press, 1930. 41 p. (Palestine. Geological
adviser. [Publication, no. 2.].) TN113.P3B6.
Ch^^Rt(on, GiLBEirr/'KEiTH. JFhe^NexvJ-el-usalem. New York:
/ Gjorge-FfTDora^company [i-1921]. 307 p. DS109.C5,
Coke, R. The Arab's place in the sun. London: Thornton
Butterworth, Ltd., 1929.
Cooke, Arthur William. Palestine in geography and in history.
London: C. H. Kelly [191-]. 2 v., fold, fronts., maps (part
Elston, Roy. The Traveller's handbook for Palestine and Syria.
Revised by Harry Charles Luke . . . with an appendix on the
historical interest of the sites and monuments of Palestine
by Professor J. Garstang. [2d ed.] London: Simpkin, Mar-
shall, ltd., 1929. viii, 548 p., fold, front., maps, plans.
Fosdick, Harry Emerson. A pilgrimage to Palestine. New
York: The Macmillan company, 1927. xiii p., 1 1., 332 p.,
fold. map. "A selected bibliography for the traveler": p.
Grant, Elihu. The people of Palestine. An enl. ed. of "The
peasantry of Palestine, life, manners and customs of the vil-
lage." Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Com-
pany [c 1921]. 271 p., plates. DS112.G7, 1921.
Graves, Phiup. Palestine, the land of three faiths. New York:
George H. Doran company [1924?] 2 p. 1., 3-286 p., front,
(map), plates, ports. DS125.G65, 1924.
Great Britain. Admiralty. A handbook of Syria (including
Palestine). Prepared by the Geographical section of the
Naval intelligence division, Naval staff, Admiralty. London:
H. M. Stationery off.; printed by Frederick Hall at the Uni-
versity press, Oxford . 723 p., 1 1., xiv pi. on 7 1.,
tables (1 fold.), 19 cm. DS93.G7.
. Colonial office. Palestine. Correspondence with the Pal-
estine Arab delegation and the Zionist organization. Pre-
sented to Parliament by command of His Majesty, June,
1922. London: H. M. Stationery off., 1922. 31 p. (Parlia-
ment. Papers by command. Cmd. 1700.) DS125.G7, 1922.
— . — — . Palestine. Proposed formation of an Arab agency.
Correspondence with the high commissioner for Palestine.
London: H. M. Stationery off. [printed by Harrison &: sons,
ltd., 1923]. 12 p. ([Parliament. Papers by command.]
Cmd. 1989.) DS125.G7, 1923.
. . Palestine. Report on immigration, land settlement
and development [and Appendix containing maps]. By Sir
John Hope Simpson, CLE., 1930. Presented to Parliament bv
command of His Majesty, October, 1930. London: H. M.
Stationery off., 1930. 2 v., 5 fold, maps, tables, diagrs. ([Par-
liament. Papers by command.] Cmd., 3686-3687.) "Glos-
sary": Report, p. 10. HC497.P2A5, 1930.
. . Palestine. Statement with regard to British policy.
Presented to Parliament by command of His Majesty, May,
1930. London: H. M. Stationery off., 1930. 10 p. (Gt. Brit.
Parliament. Sessional papers, 1929-30, v. 16. Cmd. 3582.)
J301.K6, 1929-30, v. 16.
. . Palestine. Statement of policy by His Majesty's gov-
ernment in the United Kingdom. Presented to Parliament
by command of His Majesty, October 1930. London: H. M.
T 44 n
Stationery off., 1930. 23 p. ([Parliament. Papers by com-
mand.] Cmd. 3692.) DS126.A5, 1930.
-. . Report by His Britannic Majesty's government to
the Council of the League of nations on the administration
of Palestine and Transjordan. London: 1922-1931. 12 v.
_, . The Western or Wailing wall in Jerusalem. Mem-
orandum by the secretary of state for the colonies. London:
H. M. Stationery off., 1928. 6 p. ([Parliament. Papers by
command.] Cmd. 3229.) DS109.8.W3G7, 1928.
-. Commission on Palestine disturbances in May, 1921. Re-
ports of the Commission of inquiry with correspondence re-
lating thereto. Presented to Parliament by command of His
Majesty, October, 1921. London: H. M. Stationery off.,
1921. 64 p. (Gt. Brit. Parliament. Sessional papers, 192L
v. 15. Cmd. 1540.) J301.K6, 1921, v. 15.
-. Commission on Palestine disturbances of August, 1929.
Report of the Commission on the Palestine disturbances of
August, 1929. Presented by the secretary of state for the
colonies to Parliament by command of His Majesty, March,
1930. London: H. M. Stationery off., 1930. 202 p., 4 fold,
maps (inch front.), 4 diagr. ([Parliament. Papers by com-
mand.] Cmd. 3530.) Sir Walter Shaw, chairman. DS126.G7,
-. . . . . Evidence heard during the 1st \-4T\ sittings
. . . London: H. M. Stationery off., 1930, 2 v., 34 cm. (Co-
lonial office. Colonial no. 48.) Vol. II includes also a selec-
tion from the Exhibits.
~. . Vol 3. Index to evidence . . . and selection from
the Exhibits. DS126.G7, 1930a.
— . High commissioner for Palestine. An interim report on
the civil administration of Palestine, during the period 1st
July, 1920-SOth June, 1921 . . . London: Printed and pub.
by H. M. Stationery off., 1921. 29 p. inch tables. ([Par-
liament. Papers by command.] Cmd. 1499.) Herbert
Samuel, high commissioner and commander-in-chief. J691.-
-■ • Palestine. Papers relating to the elections for the
Palestine Legislative council, 1923. London: H. M. Sta-
tionery off. [printed by Harrison & sons, ltd.], 1923. 12 p.
inch tables. ([Parliament. Papers by command.] Cmd.
1889.) JQ1809.P3A55, 1923.
• • Palestine. Report of the high commissioner on the
administration of Palestine, 1920-1925. London: Printed
and pub. by H. M. Stationery off., 1925. 59 p. (Colonial
office [Colonial no. 15].) Herbert Samuel, high commis-
sioner. Official publications relating to Palestine, p. 59.
. Dept. of overseas trade. Report on the economic and
financial situation of Palestine. London: 1927-1931. 5 v.,
24i/4 cm. HC497.P2A3.
Hocking, William E. The Spirit of World Politics. New York:
Macmillan, 1932. 562 p.
Jastrow, Morris. Zionism and the future of Palestine; the
fallacies and dangers of political Zionism. New York: The
Macmillan company, 1919. DS149.J35.
Joint Palestine Survey Commission. Reports of the experts
submitted to the joint Palestine survey commission. Boston,
Mass. [Press of Daniels printing co., incorporated], 1928.
741 p., illus., 2 maps, 3 fold, tab., diagrs. Contents-Pt. I:
Agricultural colonization. I. The report of Dr. Elwood
Mead and associates. II. Summary of economic data relat-
ing to Jewish agricultural colonies, by Professor Frank
Adams. III. Soil reconnaissance, by A. T. Strahorn. IV.
The horticultural possibilities as especially related to agri-
cultural colonization, by K. A. Ryerson. V. Irrigation and
water supply, by C Q. Henriques. VI. Report on education
and research, by Professor Jacob Lipman. VII. Report on
the Jewish settlements, by Sir John Campbell. VIII. Report
on a visit to Palestine, by Sir E. J. Russell. Pt. II; Labor.
IX. The labor movement and cooperation, by Dr. Leo Wol-
man. Pt. Ill: Public health. X. A sanitary survey, by Pro-
fessor M. J. Rosenau and Dr. C. F. Willinsky. DS102.J6.
Macalister, Robert Alexander Stewart. A history of civiliza-
tion in Palestine. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University press;
New York: G. P. Putnam's sons, 1912. vii, 139 p., illus.
fold. map. (The Cambridge manuals of science and litera-
ture.) Bibliography, p. 130-133. DS118.MI3.
McCrackan, William Denison. The new Palestine. An au-
thoritative account of Palestine since the great war; the
problems, political, economic and racial, that confront the
British administration; with intimate glimpses of the cus-
toms of the people, and a keen appreciation for the beauty
and mystery of the Holy Land. Boston: The Page company,
1922. xiv, 392 p., plates (part col.), ports., fold. map.
Olmstead, Albert Ten Eyck. History of Palestine and Syria
to the Macedonian conquest. New York, London: C. Scrib-
ner's sons, 1931. xxxii, 664 p., illus., plates, maps (1 fold.),
plans, facsims. Bibliographical footnotes. DS121.04.
Palestine— A Decade of Development. American Academy of
Political and Social Science. Vol. 164, November, 1932.
Palestine Arab Congress. Report on the state of Palestine dur-
ing four years of civil administration submitted to the Man-
date commission of the League of nations . . . [Jerusalem,
1924.] 16 p.
. . Report, Oct. 13, 1925. [Jerusalem, 1925.] 30 p.
. Four memoranda submitted to the Council and Perma-
nent mandates commission of the League of Nations . . .
12 Apr. 1925. Jerusalem, 1925, 32 p.
Palestine Arab Delegation to Great Britain, 1921. The Holy
land. The Moslem-Christian case against Zionist aggression.
Official statement, Nov. 1921. London: Harrison & Sons,
ltd., 1921. 11 p.
Rihbany, Abraham Mitrie. Wise men from the east and from
the west. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin com-
pany, 1922, vii, 309 p. Zionism— A new Eastern problem:
p. 265-287. CB251.R5.
Samuel, Maurice. On the rim of the wilderness; the conflict in
Palestine. New York: H. Liveright [c 1931]. 247 p.
. What happened in Palestine; the events of August, 1929,
their background and their significance. Boston, Mass.: The
Stratford company [c 1929 J. 222 p. DS126.S3.
Sheean, Vincent. Personal History. New York: Doubleday
Doran, 1936. 398 p.
Sokolow^. N ahum. History of Zionism, 1 600-191 S\ London,
Tew York^jfetc.]/ Longmans, Green and co., 1919. 2 v.,
platev-ports., facsifn. "Books consulted": v. 2, p. 449-460.
United States. Bureau of foreign and domestic commerce
(Dept. of commerce).. Palestine: its commercial resources
with particular reference to American trade, by Addison E.
Southard, American consul at Jerusalem. Washington:
Govt, print, off., 1922. vi, 64 p., incl. tables, chart. (Special
consular reports, no. 83.) HF3861.P2A5, 1922.